FLOWERY BRANCH – The status of Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has been hotly debated in the local media over the past few weeks. As of late Sunday night, no decision had been made on his future.
The conventional wisdom amongst the media was that if Falcons head coach Dan Quinn vouches for Dimitroff in his meeting with owner Arthur Blank, that he'd be retained.
After the game, Blank was not ready to comment, but lauded the partnership between Quinn and Dimitroff.
In recent weeks, Mark Bradley and Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution have laid out cases for his dismissal.
Here’s Bradley’s “Major Falcons changes are surely coming.”
Here’s Cunningham’s “Now we know: Falcons lack talent” column of Dec. 16.
WSB sports director Zach Klein, who’s considered a friend of the Falcons and has hosted some of their shareholder events, laid out reasons to keep Dimitroff in an open letter to Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
Here's Jeff Schultz's column stating that 8-8 season shouldn't mandate firings.
From those three points of view and a review of Dimitroff’s record, here are 10 reasons why the Falcons should dump Dimitroff:
1. --Drafting of offensive and defensive linemen has been porous.
2. --Free agency signings have lacked the desired impact. (Dunta Robinson, Ray Edwards, Jon Asamaoh and Brooks Reed were whiffs. Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson have been helpful.)
3. --Talent level is lacking. Since getting the job in February Dan Quinn has jettisoned 11 players drafted by Dimitroff from 2008-14.
4. --In April, Jason Lisk of The Big Lead noted that of the 27 players drafted by Dimitroff from 2009-12 one player, Julio Jones, started at least eight games in 2014. That’s damning because those players should have been in their primes.
5. --None of Dimitroff’s six-man draft class of 2012 plays for the Falcons anymore, and four of those players are healthy street free agents.
6. --Offensive line picks. The offensive line doesn’t have much pedigree because Dimitroff somewhat missed on Sam Baker and totally whiffed on Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes.
7. --Dimitroff never made a serious effort to add young talent in the receiving corps behind Jones, Roddy White and Harry Douglas.
8. --He drafted five no-impact edge rushers from 2008-14 and blundered with defensive back Dez Southward, a third-round pick in 2014 who now is on the Colts’ practice squad.
9. --Got the quarterback right when he drafted Ryan. The Falcons are married to Ryan, so it’s worrisome if he’s really in decline. Ryan (and Shanahan) can be better than they performed in 2015 if he gets more good players around him.
10. --The biggest failure may be that the Falcons are wasting Matt Ryan's prime. He turned 30 this season and is starting to show signs of slippage.
In the final game of the NFL season, the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 20-17. The AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter reports.